A new crèche comes up in Supreme Court

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One of the reasons cited was that his parent High Court of Kerala already had a representation in Justice Kurian Joseph and a second judge was not necessary given the small size of the Kerala High Court.

Judicial sources said the five-member collegium was keen on iterating the name of Justice Joseph as available facts and figures suggested that he was the "most meritorious" among the names considered.

A decision in this regard was taken following a meeting of all the five member-judges of the SC Collegium, including Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices J Chelameswar, Ranjan Gogoi, Madan B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, this afternoon.

Justice Chelameswar, who had not attended the court today, came for the collegium meeting. With this order, the Congress Government was brought back to power. SC sources said the collegium members "simply chose to defer deliberations on the case relating to Justice Joseph and adequate representation to three HCs".

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Indu was sworn in as the judge of the Supreme Court on April 27.

The Centre had ignored convention that the collegium's recommendation be treated as a whole, when it split a January file and appointed Justice Indu Malhotra alone as a judge.

In a statement, the apex court said it took note of the letters it received from the Centre on 26 and 30 April.

The Supreme Court Collegium on Wednesday deferred its decision on the elevation of Uttarakhand High Court Chief Justice KM Joseph as an apex court judge.

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The government had said that the proposal for his name was not in accordance with the top courts parameters and there was adequate representation of Kerala in the higher judiciary from where he hails.

The top court collegium recommending the elevation of Justice Joseph had said: "The collegium considers that at present Justice K.M. Joseph, who hails from Kerala High Court and is now functioning as Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court, is more deserving and suitable in all respects than other Chief Justices and senior puisne Judges of High Courts for being appointed as Judges of the Supreme Court of India".

At a post cabinet briefing, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government decision to return the file of Justice Joseph had "nothing to do with his order quashing the President's Rule in Uttarakhand".

Many former chief justices, including RM Lodha and TS Thakur, have openly said that the decision of the Centre was wrong and that the collegium should reiterate its decision to elevate Joseph in the interest of the independence of judiciary.

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This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.